How much more does education pay?

Review the median pretax annual earnings of full-time workers ages 25 and older who have different levels of education.

Median pretax annual earnings of full-time workers ages 25 and older

Degree Earnings
Professional degree $110,900
Doctoral degree $100,100
Master’s degree $75,200
Bachelor’s degree $61,400
Associate degree $46,000
Some college, no degree $41,700
High school graduate $36,800
Not a high school graduate $27,200

Did you know?*

  • Someone with a high school diploma earns almost 35% more money than a person without one.
  • Someone with an associate degree earns almost 30% more money than a high school graduate.
  • Someone with a master’s degree earns almost double the money of a high school graduate.
  • Someone with a professional degree earns almost double the money of someone with a bachelor’s degree.

* Source: The College Board, Trends in Higher Education Series: Education Pays 2016

For tips on choosing a career and getting hired, see the topic Earning $.

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